In Vedic tradition, soma (Sanskrit: सोम) or haoma (Avestan) is really a ritual drink worth focusing on one of the early Indians. The Rigveda mentions it, especially in the Soma Mandala. Within the Avestan literature, the whole Yasht 20 and Yasna 9-11 treat of haoma.

The manuscripts describe the preparation of soma by way of removing the juice from the plant, the identity being now unknown and debated among scholars. Both in the traditional religions of Historic Vedic religion and Zoroastrianism, the specific drink and also the plant are identical.

There’s been much speculation concerning the probably identity from the original plant. Traditional accounts with unbroken continuity in India, from Ayurveda and Siddha medicine practitioners and Somayajna ritualists unquestionably use “Somalata” (Sarcostemma acidum).

Non-Indian scientific study has suggested candidates including Amanita muscaria, Psilocybe cubensis, Peganum harmala and Ephedra sinica. Based on recent philological and archaeological studies, and additionally, direct preparation instructions confirm within the Rig Vedic Hymns (Vedic period) Ancient Soma probably contained Poppy, Phaedra/Ephedra (plant) and Cannabis.

Soma is really a Vedic Sanskrit word that literally means “distill, extract, sprinkle”, frequently connected poor rituals.

Soma, and it is cognate the Avestan haoma, can be produced from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-. The specific Scythian tribe Hauma-varga relates to the term, and most likely associated with the ritual. The term comes from an Indo-Iranian root *sav- (Sanskrit sav-/su) “to press”, i.e. *sau-ma- may be the drink made by pressing the stalks of the plant. Based on Mayrhofer, the main is Proto-Indo-European (*sew(h)-)

Based on professor David W. Anthony, author from the Horse, the Wheel and Language, soma was introduced into Indo-Iranian culture in the Bactria-Margiana culture (BMAC). That Old Indic religion most likely emerged among Indo-European immigrants within the contact zone between your Zeravshan River (present-day Uzbekistan) and (present-day) Iran. It had been “a syncretic combination of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements”, which lent “distinctive faith and practices” in the Bactria-Margiana culture. A minimum of 383 non-Indo-European words were lent out of this culture, such as the god Indra and also the ritual drink soma. Based on Anthony,

Most of the characteristics of Indo-Iranian god of might/victory, Verethraghna, were used in the adopted god Indra, who grew to become the central deity from the developing Old Indic culture. Indra was the topic of 250 hymns, one fourth from the Rig Veda. He was connected greater than every other deity with soma, a stimulant drug (possibly produced from ephedra) most likely lent in the BMAC religion. His rise to prominence would be a peculiar trait from the Old Indic loudspeakers.

Within the Vedas, exactly the same word (soma) can be used for that drink, the guarana plant, and it is deity. Consuming soma produces growing old (Amrita, Rigveda 8.48.3). Indra and Agni are portrayed as consuming soma in copious quantities. The intake of soma by people is well attested in Vedic ritual.

The Rigveda (8.48.3) states:

apama somam amr̥ta abhuma

aganma jyotir avidama deván

kiṃ nunam asmán kr̥ṇavad aratiḥ

kim u dhurtir amr̥ta martiyasya

Rob T.H. Griffith translates this as:

We’ve drunk soma and be immortal we’ve achieved the sunshine, the Gods discovered.

Ok now what may foeman’s malice do in order to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man’s deceptiveness?

Swami Dayanand Saraswati translates it as being:

Som (good fruit that contains food no intoxicating drink) apama (we drink you)

amrta abhuma (you’re elixir of existence) jyotir aganma (achieve physical strength or light of god)

avidama devan (achieve control of senses)

kiṃ nunam asman kṛṇavad aratiḥ (in cases like this, what our internal enemy can perform in my experience)

kim u dhurtir amṛta martyasya (god, what even violent people can perform in my experience)

The references to growing old and lightweight are characteristics of the entheogenic experience. (Michael Wood (historian))(The Storyline asia)

Also, consider Rigveda (8.79.2-6) regarding the strength of Soma:

“…He covers the naked and heals all who’re sick. The blind man sees the lame man steps forth….Let individuals seeking determine what they seek: allow them to get the treasure….Allow him to determine what was lost before allow him to push forward the person of truth….”

Such is suggestive of an event by having an entheogen of some source…(Michael Wood (historian)).(The Storyline asia)

The finishing of haoma in Zoroastrianism might be glimpsed in the Avesta (especially in the Hom Yast, Yasna 9), and Avestan language *hauma also survived as Middle Persian hom. The guarana plant haoma produced the fundamental component for that ritual drink, parahaoma.

In Yasna 9.22, haoma grants “speed and strength to players, excellent and righteous sons to individuals having a baby, spiritual power and understanding to individuals who apply themselves to study regarding the nasks”. Because the religion’s chief cult divinity he came into existence regarded as its divine priest. In Yasna 9.26, Ahura Mazda is stated to possess invested him using the sacred girdle, as well as in Yasna 10.89, to possess installed haoma because the “quickly sacrificing zaotar” (Sanskrit hotar) for themself and also the Amesha Spenta.

There’s been much speculation regarding the original Sauma plant. Candidates which have been recommended include honey, mushrooms, psychoactive along with other herbs.

Once the ritual of somayajna takes place today in South India, the guarana plant used may be the somalatha (Sanskrit: soma creeper, Sarcostemma acidum) that is acquired like a leafless vine.

Because the late 1700s, when Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron yet others made servings of the Avesta open to western scholars, several scholars have searched for an agent botanical same as the haoma as described within the texts so that as utilized in living Zoroastrian practice. Within the late 1800s, the highly conservative Zoroastrians of Yazd (Iran) put together to make use of ephedra, that was in your area referred to as hum or homa and that they exported towards the Indian Zoroastrians.

Throughout the colonial British era scholarship, cannabis was suggested because the soma candidate by Frederick Chandra Ray, The Soma Plant (1939) by B. L. Mukherjee (1921).

Within the late 1960s, several studies tried to establish soma like a psychoactive substance. Numerous proposals were created, including one out of 1968 through the American banker R. Gordon Wasson, a novice ethnomycologist, who stated that soma was an inebriant although not cannabis, and recommended fly-agaric mushroom, Amanita muscaria, because the likely candidate. Since its introduction in 1968, this theory has acquired both detractors and supporters within the anthropological literature. Wasson and the co-author, Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, came parallels between Vedic descriptions and reports of Siberian purposes of the fly-agaric in shamanic ritual.

In 1989 Harry Falk noted that, within the texts, both haoma and soma were stated to boost performance and awareness, didn’t coincide using the awareness altering results of an entheogen, which “there’s nothing shamanistic or visionary in both early Vedic or perhaps in Old Iranian texts”, (Falk, 1989) Falk also stated that the 3 types of ephedra that yield ephedrine (Ephedra gerardiana, E. major procera and E. intermedia) also provide the qualities related to haoma through the texts from the Avesta. (Falk, 1989) Following the 1999 Haoma-Soma workshop in Leiden, Jan E. M. Houben writes: “despite strong tries to eliminate ephedra by individuals who’re wanting to see sauma[sic] like a hallucinogen, its status like a serious candidate for that Rigvedic Soma and Avestan Haoma still stands” (Houben, 2003).

The Soviet archeologist Viktor Sarianidi authored he had discovered vessels and mortars accustomed to prepare soma in Zoroastrian temples in Bactria. He stated the vessels have revealed residues and seed impressions left out throughout the preparation of soma. This is not backed up by subsequent investigations. Alternatively Mark Merlin, who revisited the topic of the identity of soma greater than three decades after initially covering it mentioned that there’s a necessity of further study links between soma and Papaver somniferum. (Merlin, 2008)

In the book Food from the Gods, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna postulates the probably candidate for soma may be the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, a hallucinogenic mushroom that grows in cow dung in a few climates. McKenna cites both Wasson’s and the own unsuccessful attempts using Amanita muscaria to achieve a psychedelic condition as evidence that could not have access to inspired the worship and praise of soma. McKenna further highlights the ninth mandala from the Rig Veda makes extensive references towards the cow because the embodiment of soma.

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi Program involves an idea of “soma”, stated to become in line with the Rigveda.